Preview: Winnipeg Jets at Phoenix Coyotes: Things To Do In Glendale When You're Dead

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

With the Jets all but mathematically eliminated and the Coyotes fighting to retain a wildcard spot, can Winnipeg play spoiler to Phoenix's playoff hopes?

We're now coming into the sunset of a season that started with disappointment, became hopeful, and then ended in a total buckwheats. After a third period melt down in Anaheim that will forever be remembered in the pantheon of third period meltdowns, the Jets play again tonight in a back to back against a Phoenix team that needs to win to keep its play-off dreams alive.  Losing  ten games out of their last twelve since March 4th when Mark Scheifele went down with an injury has uncovered not only serious goal tending issues but also highlighted depth problems in all positions. Give it a name, the Jets have slipped from a bubble team to a team that perennially  misses the playoffs and has fallen into the bottom tier of teams in the NHL. The only positive Jets fans can take from the upcoming tilt against Dave Tippett's Coyotes is that their club can play spoiler to a Jets 1.0 club that's just barely holding off Dallas for the last spot in the West. However even that may come as a tall order after a demoralizing defeat in the land of Disney the night before.

Perhaps Jets fans can think of it as the start of the 2013-2014 pre-season and hope the man with the plan, Paul Maurice, gets an opportunity to evaluate some of the Jets up and comers, and also decide which bodies he'd rather not see return next year. So, lets get this skull session going and  preview a game that means a lot to Dallas and Phoenix fans, but also might be considered a point of pride for Jets fans.

Keys to the game

Winnipeg

  • Let's get a good power-play practice in. The power play has probably been the difference between the Jets making the play-offs and not. If you count the number of one goal games, the number of penalties we draw with our speed and our power-play ranking, the picture becomes pretty clear. In these now inconsequential games, lets try new looks on the power play and see if anything pays off.
  • Free Hutch!. Pavalec is looking brutal these days, and although the Jets played abysmally in the third period of the Anaheim game Pavalec looked like he's lost his Pavelectricity. #Buyout was a popular has tag in jets nation last night and with good reason.
  • Lets try and play 60 minutes. The Jets looked brilliant in the first two against Anaheim, almost contenderish. Let's try and stretch that out for another 20 minutes.
  • Momma let 'em play.Give the kids up from the rock a chance. Lets see how they do, what have you got to lose?

Phoenix

  • Get on them quick. This is a nothing game for the Jets on a back to back coming off a hard loss. Get on them quick, get the lead and don't let the Jets get into the game
  • Grind em. Play a heavy game in the neutral zone and neutralize their speed.
  • Put shots on net.Whomever is in net tonight is behind the eight ball, take advantage!
  • Feed off the energy of the crowd ......oh wait...
This might be a nothing game, an action as opposed to a piece of work, but as the season ends the Jets need to give the fans something to hang their hat on. Going out in a flaming losing skid isn't something that bodes well for next year. The fans need something to make them feel good about these guys going into next year, turning it around in Phoenix and playing spoiler to the Coyotes might be a good start. It certainly would be nice to see the Jets find their groove again before we head into a long summer with sunshine and boat drinks.

Player to boo mercilessly:

Shane Doan

He's like Dustin Brown, a dirty player with no track record.

Prediction

Jets: 3 Coyotes: 2 (If anyone but Pav is in net)


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